BEAUTIFUL MUSIC FOR UGLY CHILDREN is wandering freely in the world, and it’s so exciting! I love watching what happens when a book is in the wild–you just don’t know where it will go.
And the most amazing thing has happened: BEAUTIFUL MUSIC won the 2014 Stonewall Award from the American Library Association! It’s an award given to books “of exceptional merit relating to the gay/lesbian/bisexual/transgender experience.” I had no idea BMUC was still eligible, but evidently their award period runs from October of 2012 (when it was released) to September of 2013. Who knew? I was astonished to receive the phone call–what a huge, huge honor. I am humbled.
BMUC also received some generous honors last year from the ALA. In January 2013 it was named a Top Ten pick for the 2013 Rainbow List, and it was also placed on the 2013 Best Fiction for Young Adults list. So exciting! The announcements were also wonderful, unexpected surprises. Being loved on by librarians is pretty awesome. In June 2013 it also received a silver medal in ForeWord Review’s Book of the Year Awards for YA fiction! These awards are for books from small and independent presses, so yay for Flux! It was also honored as a Lambda Literary Award finalist in the Children’s/Young Adult category. That nomination was HUGE to me, too. Huge.
One other surprise happened the same week the ALA awards lists came out: BEAUTIFUL MUSIC was featured in an article about YA fiction in The Advocate, one of the largest LGBT magazines out there. And they used my purple hair photo! It feels really good to be acknowledged by them. A student showed me the article, and I squealed when I saw it. Not gonna lie.
If you are unfamiliar with Gabe’s world and need a basic synopsis of the book, here you go:
Gabe Williams is a guy with big summer plans. He’s got a job as a radio DJ, following in the footsteps of his mentor, and he wants to move far away after graduation. He’s also hoping his best friend Paige will fall in love with him—she’s smart, she’s hot, and she tolerates his music habit. He couldn’t ask for more. His only problem? The rest of the world has known him as Elizabeth for the last eighteen years.
BEAUTIFUL MUSIC FOR UGLY CHILDREN is the story of how Gabe learns to be a guy so he can leave Elizabeth behind. Some good things happen in the course of his summer—Gabe graduates, gets asked out, and gets loved by the fans of his show. But he also gets outed and threatened, and he must defend himself against violence that’s rooted in fear. In essence, Gabe’s journey to find himself is the same one we all take. His is just electrified, amplified, and broadcast into the night.